Saturday, February 5, 2011

Doomed like the Dodo?

By Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett
Crafty Killing.bn Today is my book launch for A Crafty Killing.  (YAY!)  I'll be signing copies at my local Barnes & Noble from 2-4 p.m.  The weather report says it should be a good day.  I've packed my little book for people to sign up for my periodic newsletter,goodie bags filled with bookmarks and postcards from over 20 authors for the first 25 people who show up (and boy do I hope at least 25 people show up--it's embarrassing to have to haul them home), and extra bookmarks in case more than 25 people show up hoping to get one of those goodie bags.

Dodo_bird But I wonder ... are book signings going the way of the Dodo bird?

A Crafty Killing is my 7th published book.  It's also the first book that might be selling more electronic copies than print copies, too.  (At least if I can believe my numbers on Amazon and the Barnes & Noble web site.)

I had dearly hoped it would make the New York Times bestsellers list for mass market paperbacks.  That isn't going to happen.  Although starting this week the new York Times is going to have a hybrid category -- print and e books, so there's a very slight chance.

Absolutely Postively So, I'm here to beg.  If you'd been planning to buy A Crafty Killing, or Heather Webber's new book Absolutely Positively, PLEASE buy them before Tuesday--either in paperback or as an e book.  (And preferably from Barnes & Noble.  They report directly to the Times.)

The first three weeks of a book's life are the most important--that first week the most important of all.

But let's get back to the dodo.  Because e books are suddenly selling so fast, will authors have face-to-face signings in the future?  That looks doubtful.  The stores have to gear up, they do publicity, and if nobody shows up . . . well, that authors probably won't get invited back.

So . . . now I'm wondering.  Will 25 goodie bags be way too many?  Will my local readers actually see the line on my invitation that says Lorna Barrett writing as Lorraine Bartlett?  (In retrospect, I should have gone over it with a yellow highlighter.  I mean, the other day I had an email from someone wanting to know if A Crafty Killing was the first in the series, when the post card says so on both sides ... so will they see that line saying Lorna IS Lorraine?)

And will this be the next-to-last booksigning I'm asked to do?

Do you think face-to-face author events will go the way of the dodo?